Operation Keelhaul

Operation Keelhaul was a forced repatriation of former Soviet Armed Forces POWs of Germany to the Soviet Union, carried out in Northern Italy by British and American forces between 14 August 1946 and 9 May 1947.[1]

Yalta Conference

One of the conclusions of the Yalta Conference was that the western Allies would return all Soviet citizens who found themselves in their zones to the Soviet Union. This immediately affected the liberated Soviet prisoners of war,[2] but also extended to all Soviet citizens, irrespective of their wishes. In exchange, the Soviet government agreed to hand over several thousand western Allied prisoners of war whom they had liberated from German prisoner of war camps.[3]

Treatment of prisoners and refugees

The refugee columns fleeing the Soviet-occupied parts of Europe included anti-communists, civilians, and Nazi collaborators from eastern European countries. They added to the mass of 'displaced persons' from the Soviet Union already in Western Europe, the vast majority of whom were Soviet prisoners of war and forced laborers (Ost-Arbeiter).

Soviet subjects who had volunteered for the German Army Ostlegionen and/or Waffen SS units were forcibly repatriated. These included Russian Cossacks of the XVth SS Cossack Cavalry Corps with their relatives, who were transported from the Western occupation zones of Allied-occupied Austria to the Soviet occupation zones of Austria and Allied-occupied Germany. Among those handed over were White émigré-Russians who had never been Soviet citizens, but who had fought for Nazi Germany against the Soviets during the war, including General Andrei Shkuro and the Ataman of the Don Cossack host Pyotr Krasnov. This was done despite the official statement of the British Foreign Office policy after the Yalta Conference, that only Soviet citizens who had been such after 1 September 1939, were to be compelled to return to the Soviet Union or handed over to Soviet officials in other locations (see the Repatriation of Cossacks after World War II).

The actual "Operation Keelhaul" was the last forced repatriation and involved the selection and subsequent transfer of approximately one thousand "Russians" from the camps of Bagnoli, Aversa, Pisa, and Riccione.[1] Applying the "McNarney-Clark Directive", subjects who had served in the German Army were selected for shipment, starting on 14 August 1946. The transfer was codenamed "East Wind" and took place at St. Valentin in Austria on 8 and 9 May 1947.[1] This operation marked the end of forced repatriations by the Soviet Union after World War II, and ran parallel to Operation Fling that helped Soviet defectors to escape from the Soviet Union.[1]

On the other side of the exchange, the Soviet leadership found out that despite the demands set forth by Stalin, British intelligence was retaining a number of anti-Communist prisoners with the intention of reviving "anti-Soviet operations" under orders from Churchill.[4]

Critics

Author Nikolai Tolstoy described the scene of Americans returning to the internment camp after delivering a shipment of people to the Soviet authorities: "The Americans returned to Plattling visibly shamefaced. Before their departure from the rendezvous in the forest, many had seen rows of bodies already hanging from the branches of nearby trees."[5]

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn called this operation "the last secret of World War II."[6] He contributed to a legal defence fund set up to help Tolstoy, who was charged with libel in a 1989 case brought by Lord Aldington over war crimes allegations made by Tolstoy related to this operation. Tolstoy lost the case in the British courts; he avoided paying damages by declaring bankruptcy.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Nikolai Tolstoy (1977). The Secret Betrayal. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 360. ISBN 0-684-15635-0.
  2. ^ Sheehan, Paul (August 13, 2007). "Patriots ignore greatest brutality". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ Sanders, James D; Sauter, Mark A; Kirkwood, R. Cort (1992). Soldiers Of Misfortune: Washington's Secret Betrayal of American POWs in the Soviet Union. National Press Books.
  4. ^ Costello, John (1988). Mask of Treachery. p. 437.
  5. ^ Murray-Brown, Jeremy. "A footnote to Yalta". Boston University. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16.
  6. ^ Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr I (1974). The Gulag Archipelago. 1. Harper and Row. p. 85.
  7. ^ "Lord Aldington". The Guardian. London. 9 December 2000. Retrieved 25 May 2010.

Further reading

  • Tolstoy, Nikolai. Victims of Yalta, originally published in London, 1977. Revised edition 1979. ISBN 0-552-11030-2
  • Epstein, Julius. Operation Keelhaul, Devin-Adair, 1973. ISBN 978-0-8159-6407-0

External links

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Bagnoli is a western seaside quarter of Naples, Italy, well beyond the confines of the original city. It is beyond Cape Posillipo and, thus, looking on the coast of the Bay of Pozzuoli. After

Battle of Changsha (1941)

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Battle of Changsha (1942)

The third Battle of Changsha (24 December 1941 – 15 January 1942) was the first major offensive in China by Imperial Japanese forces following the Japanese attack on the Western Allies.

The offensive was originally intended to prevent Chinese forces from reinforcing the British Commonwealth forces engaged in Hong Kong. With the capture of Hong Kong on 25 December, however, it was decided to continue the offensive against Changsha in order to maximize the blow against the Chinese government.The offensive resulted in failure for the Japanese, as Chinese forces were able to lure them into a trap and encircle them. After suffering heavy casualties, Japanese forces were forced to carry out a general retreat.

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France during World War II

The following are articles about the topic of France during World War II:

Maginot Line and Alpine Line of fortifications and defences along the borders with Germany and Italy

Phoney War, or drôle de guerre ("strange war"), the period of little military activity between the defeat of Poland in October 1939 and April 1940.

Anglo-French Supreme War Council set up to organize a joint Entente Cordiale strategy against Germany

The Battle of France, in which the German victory led to the fall of the Third Republic in May and June 1940.

Free France (La France Libre) the government-in-exile in London and provisional government over unoccupied and liberated territories, and the forces under its control (Forces françaises libres or FFL), fighting on the Allies' side after the Appeal of 18 June of its leader, General de Gaulle.

French Liberation Army (Armée française de la Libération) formed on 1 August 1943 by the merger of the FFL and all other Free French units, principally the Army of Africa

French Forces of the Interior (Forces françaises de l'intérieur) elements of the Resistance loyal to London and under its operational military command

Free French Air Force

Free French Naval Forces

Vichy France, the rump state established in June 1940 under Marshal Philippe Pétain in the non-occupied Zone libre, officially neutral and independent until invaded by the Axis and the Allies in November 1942

Vichy French Air Force

Scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon

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German occupation of France during World War II - 1940-1944 in the northern zones, and 1942-1944 in the southern zone

French Resistance and the National Council of the Resistance which coordinated the various groups that made up the resistance

Service du travail obligatoire - the provision of French citizens as forced labour in Germany

The Holocaust in France

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Japanese and Thai occupation of French Indochina - beginning with the Japanese invasion in September 1940 and with the Franco-Thai War which started in October 1940

Liberation of France

Operation Overlord - the invasion of northern France by the western Allies in June 1944

Operation Dragoon - the invasion of southern France by the western Allies in August 1944

Liberation of Paris - the freeing of the French capital in August 1944

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Ivo Herenčić

Ivo Herenčić (28 February 1910, Bjelovar – 8 December 1978, Buenos Aires, Argentina) was a general of the Croatian World War II Ustaše regime in charge of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II.

By 1944 Herenčić rose to be the commander of all Ustaše units which had been merged with the regular Domobran army by this point. At war's end, and the postwar flight to Bleiburg, he was in command of the Fifth Ustaše Corps.

Herenčić was one of the officials responsible for organizing the surrender of Croatian troops to the British as part of Operation Keelhaul. Herenčić was one of the senior officers at the meeting with Brigadier Patrick Scott of the 38th (Irish) Infantry Brigade.

The result of this meeting was considered unsuccessful by Herenčić as it was decided that retreating Croat soldiers and civilians would not be allowed to pass further than the Austrian border. Herenčić had a second meeting, in Bleiburg, where Scott decided that his troops would have to surrender their arms to the Yugoslav Partisans.Although he was not able to negotiate Croatian passage into Austria, he himself was able to break through the British occupiers, and made his way to Italy. From there he traveled to Argentina, where he died 8 December 1978 in Buenos Aires, aged 68.

Julius Epstein (author)

Julius Epstein (1901–1975) was a journalist and scholar, an Austrian Jewish émigré who fled Europe in 1938, worked during World War II in the Office of War Information, and then a prominent American anti-communist researcher and critic of the Soviet Union. He was a Research Associate at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace for decades and authored a study of Operation Keelhaul that was the first account of the forcible repatriation by the Allies of World War II of several million persons to the Soviet Union and countries in its sphere of influence.

Keelhaul

Keelhaul may refer to:

Keelhauling, a form of corporal punishment used against sailors

Operation Keelhaul, the repatriation of Russian prisoners of war after World War II

Keelhaul (band), American band from Ohio

Keel-Haul, a character in the fictional G.I. Joe universe

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Note: This list does not consist of all weapons used by all countries in World War II.

List of military awards of World War II

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The following is from the article World War II, removed from that article for clarity, and represents an incomplete list of some of the awards.

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Operation Cottage was a tactical maneuver which completed the Aleutian Islands campaign. On August 15, 1943, Allied military forces landed on Kiska Island, which had been occupied by Japanese forces since June 1942.

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Toby Low, 1st Baron Aldington

Brigadier Toby Austin Richard William Low, 1st Baron Aldington, (25 May 1914 – 7 December 2000), known as Austin Richard William Low until he added 'Toby' as a forename by deed poll on 10 July 1957, was a British Conservative Party politician and businessman.

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